I am looking for a book to help me with recipe creation. I have been a self taught pastry chef for years and I have no problem changing a recipe adding or changing flavors, but I am looking for a book to teach me how to create a recipe from the beginning. recipes such as cakes and breads. any suggestions?
Rajeev - Funny - When I saw the original post, I thought of the same book.
ChefCJM - This book won't address some of what you are looking for, but I do find it useful for flavor pairings and such. Culinary Artistry has extensive lists of ingredients and cross-references with other flavors or cooking styles.
I have an extensive professional pastry book collection, but have never come across a book that specifically addresses creating a recipe from scratch.
The fact that you are self-taught does not change anything. In culinary school, we are taught to follow established techniques and perhaps experiment with combining different components, but not how to create recipes.
When it comes to cakes or breads, I find it useful to understand the science of the recipe, for this, Shirley Corriher, Rose Levy Beranbaum and Harold McGee are great. They each have books that cover everything from the basics to the advanced.
Once you have some of these for reference, you can start with a base recipe and adapt it to your needs. This is easier than trying to re-invent the wheel.
Is there an example of a cake or bread you would like to create?
Maybe something like Michael Ruhlman's book "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking."
It's not specifically about baking but it does give basic formulas for a variety of baked goods, sauces and custards and describes why and how the ratios work.
To that I'd add either Culinary Artistry or The Flavor Bible.
You don't want to look for a book on recipe creation you want a book on the 'science' behind cooking.
Some of the authors that explain things the best are:
J. Kenji Alt-Lopez
James Peterson; and
even Cooks illustrated
and if you can afford it - Nathan Myhrvold's Monster of a Book/Encyclopedia Set